Several reports emerged last month revealing Apple’s plans to start manufacturing in India. Now a new report by Bloomberg, citing IT Minister of Indian state Karnataka Priyank Kharge, claims that Apple is set to begin iPhone production in India by the end of April this year.
Mr. Kharage even made the announcement on Twitter, saying that Apple will begin manufacturing the iPhone in Bangalore. If this turns out to be true, it only means the upcoming 10th anniversary iPhone 8 could be assembled in India.
The move only makes sense for Apple to recuperate from falling iPhone sales. India being the world’s second largest smartphone market, Apple CEO Tim Cook says it could another giant market for Apple. At a time when global iPhone sales are declining, India is the only country where iPhone sales witness a 50 percent increase.
Having said that, iPhones account for only 2 percent of the total smartphone sales in the country. As the company still sells its iPhones in India through third party retailers. And by setting up its own manufacturing facility in the country, it will not only bring costs down, but also allow Apple to open its own direct retail stores in the country and further bolster iPhone sales.
Apple has been in preliminary discussions with the Indian government for quite sometime now. The company has reportedly put forward long list of demands such as tax exemptions and financial aid from the Indian government, which are still under negotiations.
While Japanese publication, Nikkei, reported earlier in January that Apple will slash production of its new iPhone 7 by up to 10 percent, owing to declining sales. Industry analysts also suggest the iPhone 7 won’t sell like hot cakes unlike the earlier iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. Despite the fact that the newly launched the iPhone 7 features several upgrades, Apple has failed to impress its fans primarily due to lack of design changes and substantial upgrades.
While the iPhone 7 sales are sinking, recent reports suggest that the next iPhone (most likely the iPhone 8) would be massive upgrade in terms of design and technology. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, and the rumor mill is already abuzz that the upcoming iPhone 8, or whatever Apple ends up calling it, would be unlike anything we’ve seen in earlier iPhones.